Harlequin Group, a consultancy specialising in planning and site acquisition for organisations in the telecommunications and public utility sectors, has speeded up and improved the accuracy of its site search process significantly since starting to use the HERE digital mapping and location intelligence platform, which has been supplied by MAPMECHANICS, a leader in mapping and geographic information systems.
The HERE location platform (formerly known as Navteq) offers detailed, online street-level mapping, aerial photography and geocoding across the world. Maps and postcodes are constantly updated so that the latest data is always available and ready to be integrated into users’ own applications.
MAPMECHANICS is one of the longest-standing distributors of HERE mapping, and has extensive experience in specifying and configuring the most appropriate HERE products for individual customer requirements.
Harlequin specialises in conducting searches on behalf of organisations such as mobile phone networks seeking new sites for masts or other equipment. It has also been involved in research for a Government initiative to fill in “not spots” where mobile phone signals are very poor.
Following criteria specified by its customer, the company identifies possible sites within a chosen area – which might typically cover 2km – and then checks to find out whether that area has any features that might prevent the installation from going ahead. Possible difficulties might arise if, for instance, it were found that a potential location lay in a conservation area or designated area of outstanding natural beauty, or if there were a listed building nearby.
Previously the company carried out the geocoding of potential locations using open-source mapping in conjunction with various other data layers, but found that the results were not always as precise as it would have liked.
“We decided that the HERE platform looked a much better alternative,” says surveyor Simon Mitchell, “and when we approached the HERE people, they referred us to Mapmechanics as the distributor.” He adds: “The recommendation paid off, because the Mapmechanics team has turned out to be really helpful and supportive, and even provided the system to us for a month’s trial.”
Harlequin now uses HERE satellite imaging, terrain and hybrid map layers when conducting site searches. “The satellite imaging is particularly useful,” Simon says. “It’s always important for us to discover land ownership, and HERE is invaluable in displaying context. The clear detailed images make it much easier to see the precise location of possible sites.”
The searches are conducted by means of map references; then the map layers can be turned on or off to display the right details. “It’s a lot quicker now for us to prepare site searches,” Simon Mitchell says. “And when we home in on a possible site, we can print off accurate maps showing the exact location.”
He says the Mapmechanics team provided invaluable support when the system was first set up. “And if we run into difficulties, they have been quick to help us sort them out.”
MAPMECHANICS has been providing innovative solutions in sales and marketing, digital mapping, geographic analysis and logistics planning for over twenty five years.
- MAPMECHANICS distributes a wide range of data products including AA, HERE and Ordnance Survey digital mapping, as well as leading business and demographic datasets from many sources throughout the world. This data is listed on MAPMECHANICS’ intuitive new transactional data web site, www.allmapdata.com, which is probably the most extensive and up-to-date listing of its kind in Britain.
- MAPMECHANICS is a distributor of the Geoconcept geographic information system, which is used extensively in a diverse range of fields such as depot planning, retail planning, marketing, healthcare, environmental planning and management, transport and logistics, site selection and territory allocation, telematics and command and control applications, policing and broadcasting, and central and local government.
- MAPMECHANICS develops, supplies and supports TRUCKSTOPS, one of the world’s best-established routing and scheduling solutions, and its portfolio includes a wide range of optimisation solutions. Examples include specialist systems for optimising transport of full or part loads, for servicing a high density of calls on the same streets and for optimising use of pallet networks.
- MAPMECHANICS also uses digital map-based technologies to offer an extensive range of Web, desktop, paper and component solutions for a variety of business applications, from atlas production to business analysis, site selection, customer profiling and vehicle routing and scheduling.
Backing up its extensive product range, MAPMECHANICS offers a comprehensive service of implementation support and training.